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Where Do They Go? (and a question) January 28, 2014 6:56 AM   Subscribe

I have been a mefite for a few years now, and lurked as a non-mefite for about 2-4 years before. In that time I have seen many people leave Mefi, from a simple in-thread mod answer to someone's "Why is x's account disabled/closed?" to the full-on Metatalk flameout-'n'-flounce. And I have often wondered, where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go? Is there any data on this? And my question: In the Mefi Labs thread, I found out that the most suggested book was "The Gift Of Fear." I have only seen it referenced once, in a self-defence thread on the blue, and I wondered why it was so popular?
posted by marienbad to MetaFilter-Related at 6:56 AM (135 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Some anecdata suggests they check out but never actually leave.
posted by 0 at 7:04 AM on January 28 [45 favorites]


I have only seen it referenced once, in a self-defence thread on the blue...

If you click on the book in Labs you'll see every mention of the book from 2013. You might go through those mentions and click to see the original comment in context. That might give you a better sense of why people are recommending it.

...where do they go when they leave here?

We don't have any way to answer that. We can see what people do when they're on MetaFilter, but we don't have any way to see what people do off the site. Maybe some folks who have left and come back can help answer that.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:05 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Yeah, and scrolling through them (from the popular Amazon links in 2013 page) most of those are in Ask. No surprise there but it helps illustrate the kind of context where it might come up. Also I suspect there's a self-perpetuating dynamic at play there, where people who found out about the book through (Ask) Metafilter end up recommending it in turn.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 7:10 AM on January 28


I have only seen it referenced once, in a self-defence thread on the blue, and I wondered why it was so popular?

It's not always linked to the Amazon product page, so here's a Google search of Ask.MetaFilter for the term, and you'll find it suggested a lot in threads discussing violence and fear of violence. If you're not keen on visiting the Amazon page, here's the Wikipedia page on the book, though it's a bit thin.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:12 AM on January 28


Asks the Possible of the Impossible:
"Where is your dwelling-place?"
"In the dreams of the Impotent," comes the answer.
~ Rabindranath Tagore
posted by zarq at 7:17 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


And I have often wondered, where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go?

Tartarus Digg.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:18 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Oh, how cool. Stray Birds is available for free through Project Gutenberg!
posted by zarq at 7:23 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


where do they go when they leave here?

I go to the Night Lands.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 7:26 AM on January 28 [10 favorites]


I have often wondered, where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go? Is there any data on this?

Nope, no data. They tend to break down into a few groups

- banned spammers pretty much don't come back
- many users disable/reenable their account on a pretty regular basis and leave us a note when they do. If you have a specific question about a user, we may have more info, feel free to email the Contact Form (please do not ask here)
- some come back under a BrandNewDay situation, this is more and more common as the site and its users age
- some leave for good but may stay in touch with other MeFi-related sites (MetaChat, MonkeyFilter, MeFight Club) and so we may have news of them without them being here
- many more just ... go someplace else or just do a slow fade and don't nteract with the site but don't close their accounts. Many of the early members I have interacted with did this, they're still out there on the web and have active accounts here, they just don't engage
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Where do you go to my MeFite
When you have stormed off in flames
Would you tell me the thoughts that surround you
pb won't even name names, not for a laugh, ahahaha

posted by billiebee at 7:27 AM on January 28 [13 favorites]


I know many people who either disabled their accounts or just stopped posting, but still read the site regularly.

Sometimes, late at night, if you listen closely, you can hear their Herculean efforts to not make a comment.
posted by griphus at 7:28 AM on January 28 [81 favorites]


I don't go anywhere. As infuriating or eyerolling as I often find it, MeFi is really the only place I have ever found for generalist discussion of a consistently high quality on the web. When I stop reading it, I pretty much just stop spending any significant amount of time reading comments online.

Hmm.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:36 AM on January 28 [9 favorites]


They're on the face of every child, on the smile of every baby.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:40 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


Maybe they finally got into the dog park, much to their dismay and primordial anguish.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:47 AM on January 28 [12 favorites]


So reading the popular Amazon links in 2013 page I see: "Starting Strength - Basic Barbell training," and underneath, "Bird by Bird." Are you trying to create a secret race of buff, ripped, writers?
posted by marienbad at 7:54 AM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Maybe some folks who have left and come back can help answer that.

I used to be pretty active and now I'm much less so, but not totally gone (like I had a MetaTalk post a couple of days ago). You know those older married couples where the wife seems perfectly nice, but every word that comes out of her mouth makes the husband sigh and roll his eyes and grimace? MetaFilter became like that to me. Every thread I would look at would just make me go "Oh boy, this shit again." Nobody pissed me off and made me want to flame out, I just slowly fell out of love with you. I will always cherish the time we had together, but you all got fat and old and tedious and now I've left you for the nanny. I spend a lot of time on Reddit, which is awful if you don't have an account, but if you join and subscribe to subreddits that match your specific interests can be great. And I got to where I prefer the racist, sexist immature twelve year olds over there to the self-righteous, pretentious, immature (in a different way) twenty-eight year olds over here. So there you go. I love you MetaFilter, but I'm not in love with you. I hope we can still be friends.
posted by ND¢ at 7:59 AM on January 28 [104 favorites]


where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go?

A really nice web community/group blog upstate.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:08 AM on January 28 [23 favorites]


They transcend to MeFi Island where they argue about the correct way to worship the giant plate of beans that towers over all.
posted by Zed at 8:11 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


MonkeyFilter

Wait, what
posted by billiebee at 8:15 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Where does a candle flame go when you blow it out? Nowhere, it's just gone.

People who leave Metafilter cease to exist.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:18 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]


And I have often wondered, where do they go when they leave here?

Plastic.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:19 AM on January 28 [8 favorites]


I'm going to quote myself from an earlier thread, which in turn was a paraphrase of LeGuin:

"They go on. They leave MetaFilter, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than weblog as conversation. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from MetaFilter."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:19 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Wait, what

Is your Google broken? Check it out, there are people there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:20 AM on January 28 [7 favorites]


They finally found a used car that they can manage after cutting off their right hand and have moved on to better things.
posted by LionIndex at 8:26 AM on January 28


If you're my brother you go to Reddit because Metafilter is "nothing but a bunch of liberals."
posted by bondcliff at 8:29 AM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Plastic: The MetaFilter.com it's okay to like.
posted by slogger at 8:33 AM on January 28 [14 favorites]


I love you MetaFilter, but I'm not in love with you.

Then stop sexting us!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:37 AM on January 28 [10 favorites]


At least they stopped sexing us.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:45 AM on January 28


I always thought they went to live on that farm where all the unadopted ponies live.
posted by rtha at 8:50 AM on January 28 [4 favorites]


I found that there IS no where to go if you leave metafilter. I've done it twice, I've come back both times. When I was gone I went into the real world.

I evidently decided that, as much of a pain in the ass that you people are, I prefer you over the meat world.
posted by HuronBob at 8:51 AM on January 28 [7 favorites]


I alway thought they ate that stew
posted by Namlit at 8:53 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


When you're tired of Metafilter you're tired of the web.

At least that was how it was for me. Metafilter lasted the longest of a cascading series of sites I got completely sick of. After I disengaged here I went into Internet Read-Only mode for quite a while.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:57 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go?

A really nice web community/group blog upstate.


Hulver's site?
posted by papafrita at 9:16 AM on January 28


I've left a few times over the years. For me usually it's a question of no longer wanting to participate in the sorts of conversations I feel like I'm seeing all the time (whether or not that's actually the case) or getting turned off by "site culture" referendums or whatever. Frustration and such. I check in a lot less while I'm off, but I still visit and avoid reading the comments for the most part. So in terms of "where do you go"--Metafilter is more general interest, so when I'm avoiding Metafilter I am instead going to more specific interests, sports, music, other hobby-type stuff.
posted by Hoopo at 9:16 AM on January 28


i see current, former, and quiet mefites basically everywhere i go online - twitter, mlkshk, reddit, closed communities, etc. some are easy to spot because the use the same name, others (like myself) have a few different usernames and so it's like a discovery sometime down the line, "oh, you're so&so!!"
posted by nadawi at 9:25 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


i put on my smock and grabbed the first gondola to blueberry hill, where i found my thrill. but hey, i'm just a poorly written sequel.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:42 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Slashdot + a bunch of bookmarked blogs used to be my "What shall I do to kill five minutes ON THE INTERNET?" of choice. Come the blessed day of my inevitable flameout (pronounced FLAM-OO in exactly the way the French don't) I'll probably try migrating to one of those nicer corners of Reddit I hear so much about.

griphus: I know many people who either disabled their accounts or just stopped posting, but still read the site regularly.

Bit of a tangent here, but even sites where I have an account I usually read without logging in as it's just enough of a speedbump to cut out 90% of the fluff and hostages-to-fortune I'd otherwise vomit into the public arena.

(The other 10% is pronounced FLAM-OO apparently).
posted by comealongpole at 9:50 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I was active on the green from early 2011 back but I quit my desk job for a retail job so I was unable to stare at a computer all day.

I also met a significant other, moved into a house, moved to a different state, and got two dogs. I've been very busy.

As for the internet, I usually stick to Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram but now I'm back checking things out again. It's good to be back even for just a day.
posted by bobber at 9:55 AM on January 28


When a mefite leaves, they go to Metafilter Heaven. When a mefite is banned they go to Banned Mefite Heaven. When a spammer is banned they go to Spammer Heaven. It's all explained right here in this book.
posted by mullacc at 10:03 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


The Book Of MeFi?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:11 AM on January 28


Guys this is just a remaindered copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People with bongwater spilled on it.
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on January 28 [14 favorites]


Hmmm…seven Hobbits...
posted by Namlit at 10:22 AM on January 28


The Book Of MeFi?

Treaty of Westphalia, actually. You just need to understand the metaphors.
posted by Kabanos at 10:24 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Just to give you a head start, I'm the Duke of the Higher and Lower Silesia.
posted by languagehat at 10:28 AM on January 28 [5 favorites]


I miss ericb.
posted by homunculus at 10:39 AM on January 28 [6 favorites]


> In the Mefi Labs thread, I found out that the most suggested book was "The Gift Of Fear." I have only seen it referenced once, in a self-defence thread on the blue, and I wondered why it was so popular?

According to this list of 2013 Most Popular Amazon items from the MeFi labs thread, "The Gift of Fear" was linked to 14 times in comments, not counting the number of times it was mentioned without the Amazon link. All 14 of these links came from AskMe. The AskMe categories for these questions break down as follows:
human relations (12)
law & government (1)
work & money (1)

All of them involve questions of personal safety, involving dangerous ex-relationship partners, stalking (both online and offline), or experiencing or wanting to avoid experiencing violent behavior. The book is a popular resource in AskMe for circumstances involving personal safety, as it is a how-to book on the topic. This is also probably why you have not seen it mentioned as often on the blue.
posted by needled at 10:45 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I've taken the odd sabbatical from time to time... usually when I'm too busy with other stuff
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:02 AM on January 28


Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around
And desert you.
posted by briank at 11:07 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Some become mohels. Some declaw cats. Others write recipe books or scholarly papers on Israel / Palestine.
posted by Splunge at 11:08 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Where do they go?

They weren't ever here, so they can't go somewhere else. They logged in to the site and read/posted. For a time they had their web browser send to and receive from metafilter.com.

Now they do not.
posted by ODiV at 11:16 AM on January 28


I read MeFi for 8 years before getting an account in '09. I've watched a lot of flouncing and flameouts and sabbaticals and so-on, too. In my observation it seems like for the most part people Get Their Own Fucking Blog. I'm very much on the fandom side of things everywhere other than MeFi and so sometimes I'll come across lapsed mefites talking nerdy in one of my virtual locals, particularly during the 2009 Star Trek resurgence. I also see a sprinkling of MF people talking about anime in the places that people do that, because lord knows if there's one thing that mefites and anime nerds have in common it's a love of expressing minute and obscure opinions. It's weird for me to even contemplate interneting without MeFi but apparently most people do this all the time!
posted by Mizu at 11:31 AM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I think ND¢ describes an appropriate analogy with an old married couple.

Metafilter is a great idea (a place with links to new and interesting things!) and can provide great value. And, the idea of the "conversation" part in the comments was also a source of interest to me at a point in my life when I had the time and desire to see and learn from the diversity/marketplace of ideas in effect. Unfortunately, over the years, Metafilter became so damn insular, homogenous and normative that the "conversation" became predictable and uninteresting. When you get to the point of being able to know fully well what the "conversation" was going to be before even clicking through to the comments, there is no interest in doing so. Sure, there is an occasional new and interesting viewpoint or content that is shared, but the signal to noise ratio is so out of whack that it isn't worth digging past all the predictable and normative makeweight.

I used to be a reader of Metafilter, both the posts' contents and the comments. Then when I tired of the conversation, I became a reader of just posts. Now, I am just a skimmer of posts (a situation that is even less engaging when I skim on my ipad because the horrendous idea of titles permits me to not even read the posts to judge them). I am usually just interested in quirky and truly "new" things. I occasionally comment on something.

I never bothered trying to find a replacement for Metafilter. Frankly, I didn't have the emotional energy or inclination to find one and become involved. So I will continue to skim Metafilter, but I am unlikely to dive in here or elsewhere.
posted by dios at 11:36 AM on January 28 [21 favorites]


a situation that is even less engaging when I skim on my ipad because the horrendous idea of titles permits me to not even read the posts to judge them

Can't you change this on your iPad? I've hidden titles on all of my devices and I just skip the posts and questions that don't make sense without titles, which is probably unfair to the posters, but oh well.
posted by lalex at 11:44 AM on January 28 [2 favorites]


They weren't ever here, so they can't go somewhere else.

It's a METAPHOR.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:53 AM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Yes of course, but it's a metaphor that is based on assumptions that aren't necessarily true. Some answers already given here reflect that pretty well. I was saying that the METAPHOR might not be a valid one.
posted by ODiV at 11:56 AM on January 28


It's a METAPHOR.

Literally!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:02 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


For a time they had their web browser send to and receive from metafilter.com.

Says you. I write manual requests from telnet and parse the html by hand.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:05 PM on January 28 [11 favorites]


Come the blessed day of my inevitable flameout (pronounced FLAM-OO in exactly the way the French don't)

It's probably all the Canadians.

I wondered why it was so popular?

To be a little more specific and personal than needled, it's not so much that it's popular than that it is one of the very few good resources for a particular type of issue that comes up in AskMe all too (sadly) often. As a victim of criminal violence myself, I read it and learned quite a bit about how I allowed myself to be cornered and failed to miss the indicators of violence before it started. It's full of professional expertise from a celebrity PI who himself witnessed the murder of his mother as a teen, so it's also passionate. I looked for other books that would be even comparable and there really aren't any, unless you want to count true-crime books, which are usually too specific to be of general use.
posted by dhartung at 12:14 PM on January 28


I stopped wondering after Cortex told me that they are all on a small farm upstate and there isn't any wifi signal there. I hear its pretty nice... there's lots of room for them to run around in. Every once in a while I miss them and wonder what it would be like if they were still around, but just think - all that space and so many Frisbees to throw!
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:30 PM on January 28 [10 favorites]


He shut down his computer, walked to the window, drew back the heavy curtains and looked out. There were people out there doing things. It looked like they were having fun. He walked outside, where the bright sun stung his eyes and he felt the fresh air on his face for what seemed like the very first time.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:49 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


Soon MetaFilter will require users to wear mandatory wristbands with RFID chips just like Disney which can be long-range scanned around the clock by MetaFilter's growing fleet of heavily armed suborbital surveillance and moderation platforms.

Then we'd know for sure where all those people go.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:53 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Kabanos: "The Book Of MeFi?

Treaty of Westphalia, actually. You just need to understand the metaphors.
"

I don't speak in metaphors. More like a codex.
posted by Treaty of Westphalia at 12:54 PM on January 28


but just think - all that space and so many Frisbees to throw!

god, for the twelfth time, they're discs, it's called disc golf, "frisbee golf" is something babies play at picnics

posted by cortex (staff) at 12:56 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


I have it on good authority that most of them spend their time at Memepool.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:12 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


is paphnuty on this farm
posted by Hoopo at 1:18 PM on January 28 [4 favorites]


seen some on reddit with the same screen name.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:21 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


I just read that it is time to "ditch your Facebook shares", so a certain percentage of MeFites might be busy doing that. The big man of Twitter has not tweeted in several days leading to speculation that he is scouting out a new site. That is where retiring MeFites go - to the search for the very latest coolest site. Or they get blindsided by the busyness of real life. These are more to be pitied than censured.
posted by Cranberry at 1:22 PM on January 28


is paphnuty on this farm

I don't know what you're talking about, but on an unrelated subject I'm not sure you can describe an laser-gated isolation chamber two hundred feet underground to really be "on" anything, farm or otherwise.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:30 PM on January 28 [10 favorites]


I heard there was an elite Coast Guard unit made up entirely of departed Mefites.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:30 PM on January 28 [10 favorites]


I don't go anywhere. As infuriating or eyerolling as I often find it, MeFi is really the only place I have ever found for generalist discussion of a consistently high quality on the web. When I stop reading it, I pretty much just stop spending any significant amount of time reading comments online.

I recently spent about 10 MetaFilter-free days. I'd rummage through Twitter in about 10 minutes, glance at FaceBook for about 5, then… just… what to click? um… closed the window & did some real-life stuff. I thought I'd be gone longer, but when I looked, you guys were doing amazing things, per usual, and I got sucked back in. Hopefully with a better attitude - had a "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" moment, there.

So to answer the original question, we just sort of wander, lost, devoid of any intent, devoid of any meaning, until we bump into things, like the log-in dialog.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:31 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I heard there was an elite Coast Guard unit made up entirely of departed Mefites.

"One weekend a month, two weeks a year, the profane eternity of your undeath."
posted by griphus at 1:37 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


There are even a few still-active MeFites at Monkeyfilter... well, homunculus and me...
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:53 PM on January 28


If I ever manage to leave MeFi I'll go the rehab.
posted by hat_eater at 2:09 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


DevilsAdvocate: "But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from MetaFilter."

I just want you to know that I see what you did there, Ursula.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:29 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


Unfortunately, over the years, Metafilter became so damn insular, homogenous and normative that the "conversation" became predictable and uninteresting.

I've seen this phenomenon in many RL as well as web communities, and may I respectfully suggest that often, it's not the site, it's the eye of the beholder. The site was once unpredictable and interesting to you [in the general sense of the 2nd person], and it's likely just as unpredictable and interesting to someone newly discovering it today.

It can start to seem predictable and uninteresting sometimes if you've been here a while. It happens in every community in which people have any longevity. After 10 years, I find I'm catching a lot of MeFi discussion topics on the 2nd or 3rd go-round. Didn't we go through this just last year? I think, only, to realize that it was actually in 2005, and a couple of generations have passed. There are certain topics, genres, issues that are going to continue to come up when a group of people with similar interests get together, and they will repeat on certain cycles. Over time you can grow tired of them; you realize there is not much new to say, but at the same time, new people are discovering what there is to say all the time. And it is new to them. People are lovers of novelty, to some degree, and need to go where they find the interest of what is new to them.

And when it's no longer new for you, it may be time to either say "hm, I'm getting older, but it's nice that folks are still having a good time with this" or maybe just move on. I've sort of been thinking about that lately, watching some topics go "Big Ben! Parliament!" at me, watching them come around one more time on the guitar. Do I really need to wade in and be part of the discussion once again? A lot of the time, nah. Others are saying the pieces I would once have said, and new points of view surface more rarely. I've been working to find the corners of discussion that seem new and fresh and trying to find things to be positive about. If I'm getting bored, it's not the site, it's me, and what I might need/be looking for which might be starting to be elsewhere more often than it used to be.
posted by Miko at 2:41 PM on January 28 [31 favorites]


I respectfully suggest that often, it's not the site, it's the eye of the beholder

Could be, but when it gets to the point where you can even guess who favorited a comment you are pretty familiar with the site itself
posted by Hoopo at 2:45 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I think, only, to realize that it was actually in 2005, and a couple of generations have passed.

Mefites have a rapid breeding cycle!
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:48 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


"Why Does He Do That? Inside The Minds Of Angry & Controlling Men"

SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:55 PM on January 28 [8 favorites]


where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go?

But where do they go when they start to grow old?
They go home to bed every night.
'Cause when they start workin' they get tired and slow;
Get married and start a new life.

Friends move away, never heard of again;
Funny how everyone ages.
Their face in the yearbook is what's left of them
And the poems that they left on the pages.

(Sadly, there is not a version of that song on YouTube.)
posted by octobersurprise at 3:06 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


Could be, but when it gets to the point where you can even guess who favorited a comment you are pretty familiar with the site itself

That's exactly the point. It's you who is now too familiar with the site. Someone new to the site will not be able to guess that, and the place will appear as a fresh garden of delights, not a stale buffet.
posted by Miko at 3:09 PM on January 28


a couple of generations have passed*
(community participation generations)

posted by Miko at 3:10 PM on January 28


Could be, but when it gets to the point where you can even guess who favorited a comment you are pretty familiar with the site itself

Yeah, same as it ever was (though once upon a time there weren't any favorites). Pick any thread from the archives from a decade ago and it's the same kind of feeling - maybe even more so, because the number of active users was so much smaller, and a "long" thread was one that went to 100 comments.
posted by rtha at 3:12 PM on January 28


I have had Where Do You Go? by No Mercy stuck in my head all day because of this thread.

I'm not sure that's the kind of thing I can forgive.
posted by dotgirl at 3:12 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Miko: "I find I'm catching a lot of MeFi discussion topics on the 2nd or 3rd go-round. Didn't we go through this just last year?"

Someone made a reference to the couch jumper's teeth the other day and I was both "wow, that was a subtle in-reference to some high drama" and "I wonder what percentage of the user base understood that comment". So at least some of the highly memorable topics don't come around which means either we are generating at least a few new topics or the spiral of repeats is tightening and I haven't seen much of that.
posted by Mitheral at 3:18 PM on January 28


dotgirl: "I have had Where Do You Go? by No Mercy stuck in my head all day because of this thread."

THANKS. ugh.
posted by zarq at 3:30 PM on January 28


When all things are MeFite-teachings, then there are MeTas and FPPs, there is cultivation of favorites, there is joining, there is flame-out, there are mods, there are members. When myriad things are all not self, there are no MeTas, no FPPs, no mods, no members, no joining, no flame-out. Because the MeFite Way originally sprang forth from abundance and scarcity, there is joining and flame-out, MeTas and FPPs, members and mods. Moreover, though this is so, favorites are deleted when we cling to them, and flags only grow when we dislike them.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:50 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


Where have all MiFi's gone, long time passing?
Where have all the MiFi's gone, long time ago?
Where have all the MiFi's gone?
Gone to YAHOO everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?
posted by sammyo at 3:56 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Caerbannog.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:04 PM on January 28


Bacon anger.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:07 PM on January 28


I have had Where Do You Go? yt by No Mercy stuck in my head all day because of this thread.

This might help. Or perhaps not. I dunno. All I know if that that is fantastic hair.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:14 PM on January 28


Miko said: And when it's no longer new for you, it may be time to either say "hm, I'm getting older, but it's nice that folks are still having a good time with this" or maybe just move on.

Your comment pleasantly reminded me of my temporary obsession with Second Life in 2007-09. As it turned out, I met my real life partner there, and we're now going on 6 years together. But, for years now, I have had zero interest in logging in. I have many good memories of my time there, and building sims was fun and satisfying, but I've moved on.

I don't see that happening with Meta-Filter. Yes, there is a predictable arc to many threads, on the blue and the green and the gray, but the openness and willingness of community members to share their thoughts and life experiences is something that I have grown to appreciate. Again and again, I am introduced to new ways to look at things that I would not have seen otherwise.

Well, and there is more drama here than in SL, channeled and adjudicated by the mods, which is, I confess, fun.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:21 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


They all went on a three hour tour, three hour tour....
posted by mightshould at 5:34 PM on January 28


nd I have often wondered, where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go? Is there any data on this?

This seems kind of invasive and a bit weird to me. People come to, and leave, MetaFilter for all sorts of reasons. And unless you are actually friends with that person, I'm not sure it's really anyone's business where former users go.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:36 PM on January 28


They all got invites to sit in Congress for the SOTU. See them?
posted by planetesimal at 5:58 PM on January 28


People leave for their own reasons, if they choose to declare them, it's up to them. I soft away sometimes sure to the demands of RL, but it's not like I raise a flag or anything.
posted by arcticseal at 6:26 PM on January 28


People move on, especially from web communities. Sometimes they come back, and it's a happy day, but sometimes they don't, and that's OK.

It's something I think about a lot, running MefightClub as I have for more than 6 years now (which is a little amazing that it's been that long). We've been around long enough to have a few generations of users, even though nobody cares at all, that I've noticed, about account number seniority or anything, which is good.

Many of the people who made it so great a place when we started have stopped visiting, but many of them are still regulars. Some just comment once in a while, or have lapsed into lurkmode, or mostly connect with the community via the IRC channel, which is fine, too. Waves of new people have signed up over the years, and many of them have made the place even better.

But I am a big softie and overly sentimental sometimes, and it does make me a little sad when an old MefightClub discussion gets bumped and I see lots of names of people I loved having around that aren't around any more, just as it does here at Metafilter.

But I made the decision early on to make MefightClub proper -- that part of MFC where we hang out and talk about games and stuff -- hidden from the web at large, requiring people to sign up and sign in to not just participate, but to read the discussions, in large part because gaming culture in general tends to be so toxic, and that small speedbump has been enough so far to keep things on an even keel. It's been years since we've had any real problems with anybody in terms of how well they fit with the culture that's developed there.

So that makes it different from MeFi, where people can read the site without even logging in -- as I know many, many folks from the early days, who no longer actively post and comment here, still do. Some of them have popped up in this thread. It also limits the growth of MFC -- though it does keep slowly growing, which makes me happy -- and that's not entirely a bad thing. Trade-offs.

Still, though: I don't know if Matt and Team Mod feel the same way about these things here at the mothership, but when people fall away from MFC for whatever reasons they have, especially people I really liked having around, it squeezes the melancholia bulb for me a bit, no matter how much I enjoy having swell new pals join us in the clubhouse.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:30 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


People used to be sent to Plastic if they were naughty. I'm not kidding.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:31 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


FWIW, some of us are back under a new name. I was out of the Mefi loop for awhile and couldn't get access to my old account when I returned after a few years. (I think the email was under a defunct my-deja or altavista account.)

Eventually, I stopped trying to crack my old account and decided to pay 5 dollars for what I used to get for free.
posted by 26.2 at 6:33 PM on January 28


pay 5 dollars for what I used to get for free.

ah, the depradations of age.
posted by Zed at 6:43 PM on January 28 [5 favorites]


I left very quickly after registering because i genuinely felt too immature and stupid to properly participate in the conversation at the time(which, in retrospect, was a surprisingly mature decision for being 16 years old , not to publicly tug myself off too much).

I totally was, and i don't regret it at all. I liked my username so i just came back with the same account.

Weirdly, i couldn't post when i came back and after some fiddling it ended up telling me i had to pay the $5 via paypal again as if i had just registered my name and hadn't completed it. I didn't complain though, because Matt and these guys deserve the money anyways.

I drifted back here with the intention to participate for the reason steely-eyed missile man described. I was completely fed up with the comment sections and discussion boards/areas on every other site i'd normally frequent, and felt that it wasn't just that i had matured or something, but that the quality of discourse a lot of places online was legitimately getting shittier in a way you could plot on a graph or something.

Oh yea, and at least in my opinion MeFi used to be a lot more insular and mean. There was much, much more so a group of "power users" whose opinions would massively be supported in threads. And people would get totally "rekt" and shouted down for challenging them in any way. Even if you look back at MeTas from the past couple years you'll see discussion of this sort of thing, and reflection on how it used to be. Especially with the giant sexism metas, etc about how prevalent it used to be to just go "oh shut up that isn't how it is stop making a big deal out of it" and totally get backed up.

Sorta went off on a tangent there, but yea, MeFi definitely used to feel like some exclusive club where you'd get pooped up on and easily outed/given shit/etc for being a noob if you didn't lurk for a really long time and approach very carefully. That is definitely what kept from coming back for a very long time.

It's actually weird to think about the fact that i registered in the middle of high school, and didn't actually return and start posting until after college graduation age.
posted by emptythought at 6:47 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


Yeah, totally worth the 5 bucks. But it still bugs me that I couldn't let myself into my old account.
posted by 26.2 at 6:47 PM on January 28


Not to be all morning-after quarterbacking here but we could help you with that sort of thing, if ti was something you still wanted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:49 PM on January 28


Someone made a reference to the couch jumper's teeth the other day and I was both "wow, that was a subtle in-reference to some high drama" and "I wonder what percentage of the user base understood that comment".

I guess I didn't mean that things were literally the same, in high specific, but in the general thematics. The "look at these [celebrity] assholes" spirit of a thread like that will see names and incidents change over the years, but come back to the same impulse.

the openness and willingness of community members to share their thoughts and life experiences is something that I have grown to appreciate. Again and again, I am introduced to new ways to look at things that I would not have seen otherwise.

That is a big plus of MeFi. But I can also understand that after a while, for some folks, it's a lot of wading through the day-to-day chatter to see those amazing glimmers. It's also not something you might be looking for at one stage of life, even though it meant a lot to have those exposures at another. Sometimes in life you're looking for a very broad frame of reference, for surprise and connection and serendipity; sometimes you're looking for something else, a deeper connection with a smaller number of folk, a level of specialty, a need to maintain a certain equilibrium that the surprises disrupt, or what have you. Life is long and needs/interests/habits can change throughout it, is all I'm saying. After 10+ years, most as a member, I am still here because there's still a lot I enjoy. Yet I can also say that I was madly in love with MeFi at a younger age in a way I am not any more, just because things in my life have changed (not because MeFi really has). I can understand how some people, even those who really love it, at times need to leave it for a while, or permanently, or change the way they interact with the site, or come to it with different expectations.
posted by Miko at 6:53 PM on January 28 [3 favorites]


About the book, The Gift of Fear, I first saw it on the internet in 2010 at Honey Rock Dawn. Shreve Stockton wrote about a stalker who had terrorized her and his subsequent arrest, trial and conviction. She wrote, "In the comments of my previous posts on this subject, many of you recommended that I read The Gift Of Fear by Gavin de Becker. I read it last week. Women, girls, those of you who know any women or girls, go read Chapter Four of this book. Fabulous info in Chapter Four. Chapter Four should be photocopied and tacked up in every girl’s locker room in every school." She's not a shrinking violet; she's raising a coyote and a herd of cattle in Wyoming, she writes books and once crossed the country alone on a Vespa. She made a website for her grandmother Svensto, who also blogs.
posted by Anitanola at 7:49 PM on January 28


Your comment pleasantly reminded me of my temporary obsession with Second Life in 2007-09.

Ironically, I go to Second Life most when I'm not here... and blog about it.

Maybe I'm my own doppleganger? Both here and not at the same time.


WoooOOOOOoooooOOOOOoooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo~
posted by Deoridhe at 8:38 PM on January 28


I left very quickly after registering because i genuinely felt too immature and stupid to properly participate in the conversation at the time

Heh, I got turned onto MeFi when I was maybe 18 or 19, and didn't sign up for at least three more years because I didn't feel like I was nearly erudite or funny or experienced enough to be able to contribute to the conversation. And that feeling kept me from doing any sort of personal projects as well: I didn't feel like I could contribute anything to the Grand Discourse or whatever you want to call it when you set sail your thoughts.

And MeFi helped me out a lot with that, by allowing me to be (and watch others be) both right and wrong and funny and not-funny and wise enough to give helpful advice and inexperienced enough to ask for some. All in a public place where the only thing that really stuck about you, the individual MeFite, was that participation in good faith and a desire to be slightly less ignorant mattered well above anything else and was rewarded in kind.
posted by griphus at 8:50 PM on January 28 [6 favorites]


I have been reading mefi since 2001.

Stopped for some years when I was traveling a lot and meeting people and in general away from computers.

I joined around 2005 when I immigrated to the US, and spent a lot of time reading and being afraid to comment. Mefi was the most important influence in my acculturation to this country.

I left once because of an IRL stalker. I left another time because mefi threads started to feel like Seinfeld re-runs. Once in a while you think this is a new one you have not watched before, but 5 minutes into it you remember how it ends.

Lately I rarely do more than skim the front page.

I spend a lot more time in subject specific forums for my hobbies, on the subreddits I like, and on IRC channels where people post links and have real time discussion.

I keep trying to find the secret underground internet where the cool and the weird and the wise hang out, but most of the times I make it into a private forum I en up bored to tears.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 9:07 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


And I have often wondered, where do they go when they leave here?

Sent off on an ice floe. Let's leave it at that.
posted by mazola at 9:26 PM on January 28


They sure as hell don't go to k5.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:14 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


"The ducks. Do you know, by any chance? I mean does somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away, or do they fly away by themselves – go south or something?"

Old Horwitz turned all the way around and looked at me. He was a very impatient-type guy. He wasn't a bad guy, though.

"How the hell should I know?" he said. "How the hell should I know a stupid thing like that?"

"Well, don't get sore about it," I said. He was sore about it or something.

"Who's sore? Nobody's sore."

I stopped having a conversation with him, if he was going to get so damn touchy about it. But he started it up again himself. He turned all the way around again, and said, "The fish don't go no place. They stay right where they are, the fish. Right in the goddam lake. [....] If you was a fish, Mother Nature'd take care of you, wouldn't she? Right? You don't think them fish just die when it gets to be winter, do ya?"

"No, but – "

"You're goddam right they don't," Horwitz said, and drove off like a bat out of hell. He was about the touchiest guy I ever met. Everything you said made him sore.
posted by webmutant at 12:21 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


"The ducks. Do you know, by any chance? I mean does somebody come around in a truck or something and take them away, or do they fly away by themselves – go south or something?"

Aw man, and at first I was all proud of myself for identifying this as a quote from Tony Soprano (the sad clown).

I mostly did my coming and going so far while I was still a lurker, but for my little data point, I've gone off to the BEYOND (temporarily) when I've:

-- Got a new boyfriend

-- Am taking a trip

-- Spending way too much time at work or with family

-- Need to finally assert some self-discipline and not wiling my day away online (not often)

-- Have some new project/hobby I'm obsessed with, so I'm spending too much of my time on the computer scouring boards and doing stuff related to that. Though, oddly, I don't actually recognize anybody's user names on here from the other forums where I've logged a lot of time.

The only even vaguely Metafilter-y site I go on when/if I'm not on Metafilter is The New Inquiry. It doesn't have many comments, which is awful (I mostly come here for the comments, to be honest), but it does have great content, including a couple weekly features of amazing links from around the internet.
posted by rue72 at 1:28 AM on January 29


dios - Metafilter became so damn insular, homogenous and normative that the "conversation" became predictable and uninteresting.

No it hasn't ; )

There is a lot more active moderation now, everything is a lot smoother with less bumps in the road, but it is still an interesting road to travel. There is a lot of concern about making the site friendly to all, which means there does seem to be more weighting of issues that directly effect a minority of members, but indirectly effect us all. If the price for inclusion is that more care must be taken by everybody then maybe that is worthwhile. It is certainly an interesting experiment in making an already established community more welcoming.

Personally I find it less insular than the past. Ten years ago there were more in jokes, set piece arguments between users and recurrent political threads. Personally I would prefer more political, religious, ideological and 'newsfilter' posts as I don't think that contention is necessarily damaging to the community. One of the things I have learned via my participation here is that people have at least one thing in common with each other, even if they seem to be in disagreement about most things most of the time.
posted by asok at 2:51 AM on January 29 [4 favorites]


And I have often wondered, where do they go when they leave here? So where do they go?

I've been commenting and, I realized belatedly and elatedly, becoming part of a few commenter communities elsewhere lately, and I'm going to be frank about this: even if it had occurred to me to trumpet those places to other MeFites or mods, I wouldn't have. It's a pleasure to have a different community to call home, to have different conversations with a different group, to explore a different aspect of my personality with like-minded folks. I value and appreciate MeFi, but it is no longer the single place online where I find a community, and I'm not especially keen to intermingle those communites.

By the same token, I wouldn't take my mother to the neighborhood bar on Saturday night or bring my trivia-team pub-buddies to my niece's birthday party. One's social circles don't have to overlap completely; it's healthy to have some varying outlets for self-expression and for camaraderie.
posted by Elsa at 3:11 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


I just don't know.
posted by dg at 3:44 AM on January 29


As to where they go, I haven't gone anywhere so I can't answer this for either myself or anyone else. But the balance of my time has been starting to shift. But instead of going to another community forum (not many are that good, as others note), I've been more active on professional/subject-matter blogs and in the Twitter conversation in my field. I am reading a lot of blogs on Feedly. I really like the conversation about urban planning/community design at Cyburbia and at times have been active on Chowhound and eGullet and on folklore/music ListServs. If I ever left MeFi I've thought of trying The Well - it seems interesting but I haven't had the impetus to pony up the bucks so I have never checked it out.

The main thing for me is, I guess, I'm not looking to fill my time and scan widely in the same way I used to be, so I'm not rambling around forums for the length of time I used to to see what's going on out there. I seem to have a lot less free time than I once did and my interests are more tightly focused. So that's another reason people's user habits change - their interests evolve, their time use changes.
posted by Miko at 5:43 AM on January 29


Sent off on an ice floe. Let's leave it at that.

Legend has it (OK, I read it in a Susan Conant mystery and have never wanted to find out it was true) that this is exactly what was done to a substantial fraction of the world's Malamutes at the end of WWII when they were no longer needed.
posted by jamjam at 9:47 AM on January 29


I've recommended Gift of Fear in Ask.Mes where I thought the asker could benefit from better self-protection skills. I also recommend Art Kleiner's How Not to Commit Suicide and the Shamu article from the NYT.

I kind of wanted to post a snarky I wish I could quit you, Metafilter, but it's not true. The community changes, there are always things to learn, and it doesn't push video. While I miss images, sort of, text woks better on mobile and while conserving bandwidth. MS Surface suggests Sparky instead of snarky. Dudes, get a clue.
posted by theora55 at 9:47 AM on January 29


I re-enabled my account to say hi. So here goes: hallo!
(my other more recent account is under my name joost de vries)

I started reading mefi around 2004 and had an account from 2005. I'm amazed how long ago that is.
I spent a lot of time here. I enjoyed the novel internet links, the intellectual slant (I bought an account because of a thread where people were discussing Beethoven knowledgeably) and the absurd humor of image threads.
My enthousiasm faded in the end. Maybe it's a downside of having a strong culture (group identity) like mefi does that for some it may become a bit repetitive or ideological after a while. It did for me and finally I left.
But mefi holds a special place in my heart. If only because I ended up having a daughter with mefite from the US, a different continent. All triggered by a question on ask.
The relationship didn't last. But my 5 yr old daughter is the joy of my life. This is a recent photo of me with her.
You may appreciate the mefi like geekiness of naming her Eleonore after Éléonore d'Aquitaine.

I've been hanging out at metachat and mlkshk and I see familiar handles there now and then.

I still think that it's amazing that on the internet I can talk to kindred souls who happen to be in exotic places like Indianapolis or Queens. So here I am from familiar boring Utrecht sending a tip of my hat into the internet ether to good old acquaintances.
posted by jouke at 12:35 PM on January 29 [20 favorites]


I've been around since 2001 at least (I found out about the WTC from Metafilter since it was the first thing I looked at when I woke up that day) and I've never really gone away but my participation has ebbed and flowed. But, of course, so has my life. I've been through several relationships, residences, pets, jobs, mental states, and major life events in these 13 years. For me, Metafilter is like a favorite comfy chair in the living room - I always like it when I'm in it, but sometimes the family room is more comfortable, or sometimes I'm so busy I'm not home at all much less in a comfy chair, or sometimes I'm wallowing in a blue period and don't move from the chair for days (but am still not going to be chatty). Anyway, I've always been more of a reader than a poster. So where do I go when I go dark from Metafilter? 50% likelihood of being lost in my head for awhile and going dark with a lot of things, and 50% likelihood of having turned in the dissertation/paper/work that I was avoiding and am now embracing life outside of a computer screen. It's not always a bad thing :)
posted by dness2 at 5:13 PM on January 29


During the four years that I was away from MeFi, I didn't participate in any other web communities, but I was fairly active in the comments sections of some blogs that I read. Now, back at MeFi, I don't read quite as many of those blogs and I mostly don't comment. But the activity here and that blog commenting aren't really comparable in almost any way. Not in quantity and not in community.

So, in a sense, my answer to this question is "nowhere", really.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:29 PM on January 29


I would like to thank everybody for their replies. I have no serious interest in this, it is just something I wondered idly, and I figured that if I've wondered about it, surely other mefite's have also wondered about it.

"This seems kind of invasive and a bit weird to me. People come to, and leave, MetaFilter for all sorts of reasons. And unless you are actually friends with that person, I'm not sure it's really anyone's business where former users go.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering

Considering how many replies this post has gotten from users talking about their experiences of leaving (and returning) it would appear no-one else finds it intrusive and weird. Further, Mefi makes a whole bunch of data available to us (for e.g. Mefi Labs) about our site-based proclivities.
posted by marienbad at 6:27 AM on January 30


i lurked for years starting sometime in 2001. metafilter and memepool were like an expanded Harpers mag for me of links to weird and interesting content. finally got a $5 account, which i eventually closed because of a combination of flame-out, ennui and a username too close to my real life name. got a new account out of even greater ennui and here i am... i would close this one but what would be the point exactly?

i think metafilter suffers from a combination of network effects and the long slow commercialization of the internet, that is, one and the same disease. the upshot is that post content is approaching some sort of common denominator and a lot of it is driven by higher level marketing in society: tv, movies, media push by various political orgs, etc. but that mirrors the homogenization of the greater internet as it is more and more dominated by large commercial and political interests.

basically... if i weren't largely unemployed, i would be gone.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:41 AM on January 30


> basically... if i weren't largely unemployed, i would be gone.

Do you realize how both arrogant and ignorant that sounds?
posted by planetesimal at 9:24 AM on January 30


Considering how many replies this post has gotten from users talking about their experiences of leaving (and returning) it would appear no-one else finds it intrusive and weird

Which would be why I said to me, yes.

And I was able to parse the disagreement with my statement of my opinion, thanks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:39 AM on January 30


Do you realize how both arrogant and ignorant that sounds?

Actually I don't... but, you know, whatever... it's just my opinion, maaan.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:42 AM on January 30


This is a nice and interesting thread, and it would be a shame if people started fighting in it.

but if you must and it leads to you flaming out could you pop back and tell us where you went?
posted by billiebee at 10:02 AM on January 30 [11 favorites]



Some anecdata suggests they check out but never actually leave.

For some, to paraphase Jean-Paul Sartre, MetaFilter is other people.
posted by y2karl at 12:35 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]


jouke: "I still think that it's amazing that on the internet I can talk to kindred souls who happen to be in exotic places like Indianapolis or Queens. So here I am from familiar boring Utrecht sending a tip of my hat into the internet ether to good old acquaintances."

Let me tell you from long years of living here that there is absolutely nothing exotic about Indianapolis. At least in terms of exotic equating to exciting. It's a good place to raise kids and live a normal middle-class life but exciting it ain't.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:44 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Let me tell you from long years of living here that there is absolutely nothing exotic about Indianapolis. At least in terms of exotic equating to exciting. It's a good place to raise kids and live a normal middle-class life but exciting it ain't.

I don't know, I was in Indiana for the first time this summer and loved it. It's kind of exotic, or at least unusual; most places are much crappier.

Guess that goes for Metafilter, too.
posted by rue72 at 4:50 PM on January 30


Considering how many replies this post has gotten from users talking about their experiences of leaving (and returning) it would appear no-one else finds it intrusive and weird.

I'd imagine the people who would find it either have simply not posted in the thread, overall, which is one of the cool things about the internet - usually not mandatory.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:30 PM on January 30


I prefer the racist, sexist immature twelve year olds over there to the self-righteous, pretentious, immature (in a different way) twenty-eight year olds over here.

And that's ok. We have Reddit. But this is the only Metafilter.
If people are self-selecting this way, that is a great thing. It's really hard to get away from slightly geeky social sites that don't fall into the geek fallacy of, it's ok to invite that bigot at your party, spouting stuff like "I'm not a homophobe because I ain't scared of them, I think they should all die" (from a party I was at that put me off most of the boardgaming scene in my town), because we don't care about the people who don't want to be around that bigot. Mefi does care.

Things I am surprised by:
Sometimes I feel like Metafilter has a such... generally healthier/more middle class background, that occasionally there's instances of culture shock (a few users have trolled that successfully, usually with safety concerns. What was that classic one? 6 people riding in one car - oh noes!). But, metafilter is generally very warm hearted, accepting, and even better - has an interest in those voices that are outside the mainstream. A willingness to learn, y'know?

Oh, and there's often an assumption that if you go into a relationship conversation with healthy, open dialogue, that the other persons response wouldn't logically be to lie their ass off, when sometimes it actually is (in a game theory type way). I mean, I don't get that myself, which is why I fit in here, but jeeze, that is a message I need reinforced. But, we got enough of all sorts here that it is good, the cynical, the experienced.


I hang out more on the green.


Favourites:
I do use one of the greasemonkey thread filters to cherry-read some of the best comments from a thread. But I'd love it if there was a modification to give higher weight to comments later in a thread, where they have to be a lot better to get any eyes on them.
posted by Elysum at 7:34 PM on January 30


Indianapolis has absolutely kick-ass jazz clubs filled with up-and-coming artists doing the Midwest circuit. Some of them are terrifically shady and seat like 24 people. It is great.

I've notice certain categories of highly-active users who drift away over time: parents of infants, people who recently moved, etc. Folks who are temporarily cut off from good deep conversation in real life, who post intensively for a couple years, and then drift away, but don't leave-leave. I would have lost my damn mind without metafilter to read and one-hand post to while breastfeeding. But I don't post as frequently now that I'm not as housebound. It's not that I love you guys less! I just have less sitting-still time than my overabundance of it in those couple years!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:36 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Indianapolis has absolutely kick-ass jazz clubs filled with up-and-coming artists doing the Midwest circuit. Some of them are terrifically shady and seat like 24 people. It is great.

I had to stay there for 3 unremarkable weeks for a professional development class once, and I really wish I knew that then.

I've been looking at some info on social psychology and belonging as a significant component of wellness. A lot of studies show that extroversion is an indicator of an increased sense of belonging. Something I read this morning, though, made me think about MetaFilter as the kind of place where introverts can form strong social connections, create community and develop an interpersonal network that can help them get access to some of the psychological and somatic gains of social belonging. The skill set to form strong bonds here is different than that required in, say, the workplace or a parents' group, and this skill set may favor verbal, ruminative, and introverted people more than many RL settings do, but the bonds are no less sustaining. Except perhaps when you need someone to bring you a lasagna.
posted by Miko at 9:50 AM on January 31 [4 favorites]


I can arrange lasagna delivery sometimes...
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:59 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]


Metafilter was one of the first places I found online; I think it was referenced in a pop-culture bulletin board I hung out on in 98 or 99. I can't imagine not checking it at least once a day.

As for the same-old same-old thing, I think that happens if you only go to the same kinds of posts over and over. I mean, today there was a post about Masculinity in Ancient Greece, a topic which a decent number of Mefites seem to know a lot about. Whereas I only have one college class on Greek and Roman lit to draw on. So it's interesting to learn about, and definitely not an issue that's been exhausted here. Or anywhere, except for maybe special-interest Greek history blogs that I would never find or read.

Some things we have talked over exhaustively. Much as I love to go on about feminism all the live-long day, I don't try to post every feminist issue piece I find because I feel like we've had lots of those discussions already, they're in the archives and can be read. But it's also a live issue in our society, like racism or class or political party shenanigans, so I don't think we'll ever be able to say "well, we've got that one taken care of, let's never speak of it again."
posted by emjaybee at 2:11 PM on January 31 [3 favorites]


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